Whether Newt Gingrich ever wins another primary after South Carolina or not, he has performed an important service to American voters in this election. Not in the self-important way that he imagines, of course. But Gingrich's mocking assault on Mitt Romney, his career at Bain Capital and reluctance to disclose his tax returns has driven a national discussion of economic unfairness, tax avoidance, and abuse of financial power that might never have occurred without the Gingrich intervention. The angry intensity of the former Speaker has overcome the usual timidity of the mainstream media - which hesitate to address such matters forthrightly or to offend Republican sensibilities -- forcing the salient questions about Romney into the spotlight.Newt's campaign even made "vulture capitalist" as momentarily familiar term.
Newt is as staunch a defender of the 1% at the expense of everyone else. He certainly wasn't the one that made inequality and predatory capitalism and current issue in the Presidential campaign. But in the current climate, Willard Romney's has a vulnerable spot in his lord-of-the-manor mentality. And I'm glad that the Republican primary has exposed it early.
Tags: 2012 election, joe conason, mitt romney, newt gingrich